Old Modernians 0 Ilkley Town 1
Ilkley produced one of their best results of the season as they defeated West Yorkshire League Division One promotion chasers Old Modernians on their own pitch.
Given the recent wet weather the tight pitch at Cookridge Lane provided a good playing surface for both teams.
The game was competitive from the start with both teams deploying a 4-3-3 formation and playing a strong, more direct style.
The first real chance fell to second-placed Modernians.
James Hirst was forced to make a fine save when the home side’s left winger latched onto a diagonal ball and raced clear.
Two further chances fell to Moder -nians who were causing problems with the ball played in behind the defence.
Thankfully Hirst, Ilkley’s man of the match, was in fine form and made key saves to keep the score goalless.
His performance provided a platform for Ilkley to build on.
With Modernians failing to take their chances Ilkley grew in confidence, with Danny Bott forcing the keeper into making an awkward save.
Shortly before half-time a scramble in the penalty area saw Danny Henderson twice being denied by the goalkeeper and players on the goalline.
The second half started much like the first but a well-worked short corner by Danny Bott saw Ben Dexter deliver a quality cross which Damien Smith glanced into the net for his 12th goal of the season.
For the next 40 minutes Ilkley defended resolutely, with the back four and Hirst outstanding as they preserved their team’s lead.
It was a display of discipline and concentration from the whole team as Old Modernians really started to press in search of an equaliser.
This meant Ilkley had opportunities on the break with Danny Bryan, Henderson and Ben Greenhow all missing out on opportunities to double Ilkley’s lead.
Despite getting a piece of good fortune when Henderson accidentally played a stray pass through to the Modernians centre forward who was given offside when ten yards clear of the back four, Ilkley held on to record an excellent away win to move up to third in the table.
Ilkley will be looking to build on this hard-earned victory when they travel to take on an improving Kellingley in search of a further three points to consolidate their position in the race for promotion.